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Tony Grist

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Clothes MakeThe Man [Apr. 16th, 2018|09:27 am]
Tony Grist
 "You're born naked and the rest is drag," says RuPaul. That's a succinct way of putting it.

I love stories where a character changes the way they're percieved by changing their clothes. Thomas Carlyle wrote a whole book of cod philosophy on the subject. It's called Sartor Resartus- and It's largely unread now, but still lively. According to legend, Peter Sellers- when in the army as a private soldier- used to dress up as an officer and review the grunts in other units- a prank that would have earned him time in the glass house if he'd ever been rumbled. In the 19th century James Barry reached the top of his profession as a military doctor while physically being female; People remarked on the shortness and the high-pitched voice but the manner was so convincing they allowed themselves to be fooled. Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can- in which a teenager cons his way through life pretending to be an airline pilot- among other things- would be one of my favourite movies if it's ending- full of glutinous daddy-love, didn't betray its joyous amorality.

All it takes is the right outfit and a degree of chutzpah and you can be anything you want- and yet so few of us ever try it on.

[User Picture]From: matrixmann
2018-04-16 09:39 am (UTC)
If you wanna do something like this, actually you need to have a lot of specific knowledge so that no professional catches you secretly having no idea of what you're doing.
You know... You can pretend a lot to a lot of people, but when you got somebody with skills and knowledge in a certain subject around or before you for conversation, that one quickly notices that you're a charlatan because he sees the nonsense you do subject-wise. Other people who are not in that position, those won't notice as most or all you do in that subject is Greek to them.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2018-04-16 10:24 am (UTC)
A little homework doesn't come amiss.

Catch Me If You Can shows the con-man learning on the job. He turns up at the airport in his uniform and asks questions like "where does the relief pilot sit on the plane?" and his hearers take it that he must be joking. Charm can carry you a long way.

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[User Picture]From: matrixmann
2018-04-16 11:54 am (UTC)
I guess for such situations you need to be pretty dynamic and able for spontaneous logic reactions...
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